WASHINGTON - The pregnant girlfriend of the 30-year-old D.C. man killed in a suspected juvenile hit and run crash early Sunday, told FOX 5 she wants the people responsible, or any other juveniles looking for a "joyride," to hear her words.
"I just want those kids to know that they really hurt my heart," said Myracle Bell, as tears rushed down her face.
Bell told FOX 5 it was her Toyota Camry that was struck by the suspects’ vehicle – and that she broke down seeing just how damaged the driver-side area of her car was knowing her boyfriend, 30-year-old Brian Johnson, was driving with a friend inside.
D.C. Police confirmed it was just before 1:30 Sunday morning, near C and 14th Sts. Northeast, when a red-colored Altima Nissan blew through a red light and struck a silver-colored Toyota Camry. A witness photo shows the Nissan caught fire. The vehicle Johnson was driving struck a corner home. Johnson later died at the hospital.
Police say the two people in the Nissan, suspected juveniles, had fled the scene.
Bell told FOX 5, she had been told by an investigator that morning, at least one suspect had been caught and that this crash apparently involved two juveniles taking a grandmother’s car.
"People have children, families and you just taking away their loved ones and I hope and pray that, you know, they feel bad for it. I do, because you’re really hurting people. Like you’re really hurting people. I want them to know they’re really hurting people. Like this was so unexpected. And I really want them to know that they should slow down a little bit," said Bell.
The DC mother said she is 6-months pregnant with Johnson’s child. They have an 8-month-old son together and Bell said Johnson also deeply cared for her 4-year-old. She described Johnson as loving and caring, someone who loved his family and enjoyed cracking jokes.
Bell told FOX 5 Johnson had been incarcerated before and was working to turn his life around.
"He was extremely excited to be a dad," she said, also adding, "I hope that they care and have some type of remorse. And for this other person, if the police doesn’t have him, I want him to turn himself in. I want to know what was the purpose of doing what they did."
A D.C. Police Spokesperson told FOX 5 they are still investigating, along with the DC Attorney General’s Office. FOX 5 has made multiple requests with the OAG for an interview in this case and other juvenile-related crimes. In one request, FOX 5 was told the Attorney General is legally barred from discussing juvenile cases.
"Programming had to shift to a virtual environment and what we know is that you need to be engaging people, knowing where the young people are, meeting them where they are, making sure that they’re involved in robust services, making sure they’re in school," said Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) Interim Director Lindsey Appiah.
DYRS runs the youth shelter homes or may be tapped, as a juvenile moves through court, to provide support services. Appiah told FOX 5 on Thursday, they are working on starting a workforce development academy and bringing back programs, like their "Credible Messenger Initiative," to more in-person programming, instead of virtual.
Bell says the family is still planning Johnsons’ funeral. A GoFundMe account created for that effort has almost reached its goal of $30,000, thanks to donations to the family this past week.
The D.C. Attorney General's office offered FOX 5 the following statement:
"District law prohibits us from speaking about the specifics of any juvenile case, but the Office of the Attorney General is committed to protecting our community and we take violent crimes very seriously. Every day, our team works to support victims and their families, hold young people accountable when they cause harm, and ensure that youth who enter the justice system are rehabilitated so they are less likely to reoffend in the future."